Biker Boyz

Now that the Grand Emporium, as music fans knew it, is gone, blues enthusiasts need a new place to hear the circuit’s finest touring acts — preferably one with a gritty feel and fascinatingly cluttered walls. Knuckleheads Saloon (2700 Rochester in Independence) answers all calls. Located in the back of Fog Cycles, a chopper shop that sells Harleys and parts, Knuckleheads books big-name blues belters such as Michael Burks (who plays at 7 p.m. Friday) and Guitar Shorty (7 p.m. Monday), as well as KC Blues Society-approved area favorites. The acts play on a no-frills stage, surrounded by paintings, neon signs and other eye-grabbing attractions. T-shirt designs line the ceilings, and an enormous flag shares space with photos and logos on the wood-paneled walls. Far from being a blues-only joint, Knuckleheads also embraces rockabilly, a grease-streaked genre with a strong connection to motorcycle-riding rebels. On Wednesday nights from 7 to 10, the Rumblejetts serenade the crowd’s cool cats and Pink Ladies. For more information, call 816-483-6320. — Andrew Miller

In Da Club

THU 1/20
Considering that some nightclubs outside Westport tend to have short life spans, opening a 10,000-square-foot space downtown is an, um, ambitious project. Nevertheless, NV (220 Admiral, 816-421-6852), which opened January 6, hosts its grand opening Thursday. Tickets ($20 in advance, $25 at the door) cover a buffet and prizes. The building that NV occupies once housed the Buick Automobile Company — and whereas the showroom floor remains, go-go dancers and sweaty clubgoers are now on display instead. The venue features nearly two dozen video monitors, an outside patio with an impressive view of the River Market, and lighting that rivals that of a Kiss concert. NV is geared predominantly toward the gay scene, but everyone is welcome. The bar is open from 4:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday; dancers are welcome from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. — Todd Broockerd

Veils and Verses

SAT 1/22
We recently had a conversation with Najiyah Helwani, who directs the Muslim outreach program Culturally Speaking (and is the wife of Café Rumi co-owner Bassam Helwani), and we came away convinced that the West doesn’t know jack about Muslim women. So we’ll listen to A Voice of Our Own: The Poetry of Muslim Women, a reading by Helwani and other local hijab-sporting poets. “We want people to know that we’re not some kind of homogenous, monolithic group,” Helwani says. The diverse versifying begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Waldo Community Branch public library, 201 East 75th Street, 816-701-3846. — Jason Harper